Hi! Sorry it took me so long! I decided to just post this in case anyone else needs it. Here's all the dirt on VA laws that I found...
Don't forget that the County stuff will depend on your exact location and county. But the State and federal requirements should be the same. AND, this is just the homework I did. I was pretty thorough, but someone who ACTUALLY has a business in VA will probably have more information. After finding out what was involved I couldn't justify starting a business just to move again in 8 months! So I'm just sticking to family and friends now. GOOD LUCK! I wish you all the best! LOCAL/COUNTY:
(my county is Spotsylvania, so this will just give you an idea of what your county MIGHT require. but the office names should be about the same, so you could probably call info or do a web search for the county you're looking at...
1. Trade Name Certificate:
If you are going to use a name other than your full legal name, you will need to research the trade name then register this name with the Clerk of the Circuit Court. You need this before you can apply for anything else under your business name. The form for filing may be obtained at the Clerk's Office and will need to be notarized. You should register this name BEFORE having business cards printed, opening a checking account or placing an ad in the phonebook, newspaper, etc. The fee for registering a Trade Name is $10.
o Spotsylvania Clerk's Office: Phone Number: (540) 582-7090,
One time fee: $140. All businesses will probably required to file a zoning use application with your LOCAL Code Compliance Department. This is to make sure that the business you want to conduct, from either your home or a commercial location is allowed in your zone. This must be approved first before opening a business and the issuing of a County business license. Spotsylvania Zoning office: 540.582.7044 ext 690. If zoning application is denied, you can apply for a zoning variance for $200.
NOT NEEDED: Separate kitchen (if your home kitchen is approved), meals tax (cakes don't apply), local taxes (covered by state), County Business license (not needed if gross receipts are under 100K)VIRGINIA STATE REQUIREMENTS:
1. Get approved/inspected by VA Department of Agriculture: 804-786-3520
ï¿½ Fill out paperwork - you'll need to give them detailed copies of your recipes, manufacturing processes (how you do your cakes, step by step), sample labels, etc. They will give you a booklet of everything you need, with tutorials on how to keep your work area sanitary.
ï¿½ Get an inspection done, The fee is $40 per year.
2. Register for a State Sales Tax ID:
Sales tax office: 804-367-8037 www.tax.virginia.gov/ireg
ï¿½ Virginia Department of Taxation 1-888-268-2829
ï¿½ Fill out form R-1.
ï¿½ Research how to file taxes at the end of the year (I'm not sure, it depends on what business entity you are - home business, sole proprietor, etc.), keep records of all receipts, mileage, etc. I'm sure they will help you through it.
ï¿½ I believe you should collect 5% sales tax from clients, but you'll want to double check that. Not sure if you can get a tax exempt number for when you are buying supplies - that would be nice!!
Not needed: VA health department inspection, since it's covered by Dept. of Agriculture for bakeries in VirginiaFEDERAL
o Get a Federal Tax ID Number
- (Employer Identification #, or EIN) File online: SS4 Form - http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=102767,00.html
(About EINs: An Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number, is a nine-digit number that the IRS assigns to business entities. The IRS uses this number to identify taxpayers that are required to file various business tax returns. EINs are used by employers, sole proprietors, corporations, partnerships, non-profit organizations, trusts and estates, government agencies, certain individuals and other business entities.)OTHER THINGS:
Get Product Liability insurance - to cover bodily and property damage to others as a result of your operations or products. I found that this runs about $300-350 per year. And from everything I've heard, you can't afford to go without it these days. Sad, huh?
Also, you'll probably need to open a separate checking account for your business so that you can keep it all separate, to make tax time easier.TOTAL FEES:
I worked it out that the initial startup fees (including insurance) works out to be about $450. Then every year it is around $300. Then you add your supplies, mileage, and other costs, which should be all tax deductible.
OTHER HELPFUL SOURCES
o Virginia Business Information Center at 804-371-0438, toll-free at 1-866-248-8814
o Department of Minority Business Enterprise, 804-786-6585, or 1-800-223-0671, The Commonwealth has begun a proactive approach to involving more small, women and minority (SWAM) owned businesses in the state procurement process. Beginning October 1, 2004, businesses may no longer be considered to be a SWAM firm unless they are certified by the Department of Minority Business Enterprise (DMBE).
o Small Business Administration (SBA)
400 N 8th St
Federal Building Ste 1150
Richmond, VA 23240